Rest and Relaxation

Photos of Rest and Relaxation, military, leave, cot, boxing, bands, jukebox

We have gathered a collection of some of the best and most moving photos taken of African-American soldiers during the Second World War. They are from the National Archives in Washington D.C.
Please browse at your leisure. Meditate on the sacrifices given by these men and women in wartime.

This page is dedicated to African Americans in the military enjoying Rest and Relaxation

A contingent of 15 nurses, arrive in the southwest Pacific area, received their first batch of home mail at their station. 268th Station Hospital, Australia. Three of the nurses are Lts. Prudence L. Burns, Inez Holmes, and Birdie E. Brown. November 29, 1943. Sgt. Dick D. Williams. 111-SC-370740. The Bowling Alleys at Fort McClellan, Alabama, are well patronized by members of WAC Det #2 in their off-duty hours. M/Sgt Helen Starr is ready to send a ball on its way down the alley. January 27, 1944. 111-SC-18369.
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WAAC officers go shopping soon after their arrival at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, these two officers [3d Officers Vera Harrison and Irma J. Cayton] started shopping for lamps and other accessories needed in their recreation hall. 1942. Oster. 111-SC-16248. Send `em V-Mail and keep `em smiling. N.d. 208-NP-8AAA-1.
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U.S. Coast Guardsmen make use of a telephone booth in Scotland. They are on liberty from their ship, a Coast Guard combat cutter engaged in convoy escort duty. From left to right: Officers' Cook Second Class Joseph Andy, Officers' Steward First Class Casiano Aquino, Gunner's Mate Second Class Vincent G. Igoe, Electrician's Mate Second Class George Trigony, Radioman Third Class Carlton Lee, and Officers' Steward Second Class Daniel Riley. N.d. 26-G-1550. Relaxing aboard a U.S. Coast Guard-manned transport headed for Pacific invasion areas, three Negro Marines catch a smoke. Tomorrow, it will be the smoke of battle. N.d. 26-G-321.
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Aboard a U.S. Coast Guard-manned transport somewhere in the Pacific, a group of Negro Marines presents a cheerful front. N.d. 26-G-322. Negro boxing champions at Great Lakes, IL. U.S. Naval Training Station. March 3, 1943. 80-G-29485.
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However pressing his duties STM2/c James Lee Frazer always finds time to read a few chapters from his Bible each day. In this study he is especially intense about his devotional routine it was the night before the opening strike of a raid on Manila Bay. January 9, 1945. 80-G-30524. 34th CB's trading with natives from Malaita. Left to right: native; Percy J. Hope, MS2c; Lilton T. Walker, S1c; two natives; Jack Kelsen, SC1c. Halavo, Florida Island, Solomon Islands. September 23, 1943. 80-G-8916.
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Somewhere in England one of the hottest bands in the European Theater of Operations belongs to a Special United States Naval Construction Battalion. The band leader and trumpeter is Coxswain Thomas J. Lindsey (left), and the drummer is S1c. Edward A. Grant. December 14, 1944. 208-NP-8T-2. Sailors in their bunkroom aboard the U.S.S. Ticonderoga (CV-14) on eve of the Battle of Manila, PI. Thomas L. Crenshaw (STM1/c) looks at a picture of his three children, while a bunkmate writes a letter home. November 4, 1944. Lt. Wayne Miller. 80-G-46951.
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Navy baseball team--Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides. September 1944. 80-G-12396. Negro troops, moving over the Atlantic on a Coast Guard manned troop transport, sprawl on a hatch to 'bat the breeze' and talk of home. They are on their way to the fighting lines in Europe N.d. 208-NP-3WW-22.
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Soldiers listening to a jukebox. N.d. 208-LU-35CC-4. Rickshaws are almost as common in India as they are in China. Some of the troops are on their way to see 'Tarzan's New York Adventure'--in India July 1943. 208-AA-45HH-1.
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After a hard day's work a shower and shave are in order. Sgt. Wm. H. Whaley soaps himself before taking a cold shower while Sgt. Delos Oliver lathers up. Ca. July 1943. 208-AA-45BB-1. Negro GIs and American Red Cross workers, college graduates, join in some musical fun at Assam, India. Left to right: Cpl. Robert Barttow, Pvt. James Montgomery, Jeannette C. Dorsey, and Willie Lee Johnson. August 23, 1944. Grigg. 111-SC-329741.
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Chaplain William T. Green reads the benediction at the marriage ceremony of Pfc. Florence A. Collins, a WAC of the 6888th Postal Directory Battalion, to Cpl. William A. Johnson of the 1696th Labor Supervision Co. This is the first Negro marriage to be performed in the European Theater of Operations. Rouen, France. August 19, 1945. T/5 L. Kaufman. 111-SC-210939. Sgt. Franklin Williams, home on leave from army duty, with his best girl Ellen Hardin, splitting a soda. They met at Douglas High School. Baltimore, MD. May 1942. Arthur Rothstein. 208-NP-6LL-11.
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Christmas Dance at Negro Service Club #3. The dance was sponsored by the 1323rd Engineers. They had their own orchestra. Camp Swift, Texas. December 23, 1943. Pvt. Greene. 111-SC-188341. For his 19th birthday, this sergeant's buddies baked him a cake and decorated it with the tools of his trade. P.S.: He didn't light the candles. Ca. May 1942. Fred Morgan. 111-SC-150930-B.
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Long, dangerous missions over enemy territory and inclement weather often necessitate fighter planes returning to their bases with gas in their tanks for little over 3 minutes flying time. Pilots of a 15th AAF squadron decided to form a club to be known as 'The Three Minute Egg Club', with membership limited to those unfortunates who landed within the narrow margin. Left to right: 1st Lts. Clarence A. Dart and Wilson D. Eagelson and 2d Lt. William N. Olsbrook. N.d. 208-AA-47E-1. Negro [air cadet] shown on a cot in his barracks studying as he gazes fondly at his collection of photos of his girl friends. N.d. 208-NP-5QQ-9.
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Pvt. Lloyd A. Taylor, 21-year-old transportation dispatcher at Mitchel Field, New York City, who knows Latin, Greek, Spanish, French, German, and Japanese, studies a book on Chinese. A former medical student at Temple University, he passes two hours a day studying languages as a hobby. N.d. 208-NS-3753-2.  
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